Hey guys! I do apologise for my lack of posts over the past couple of weeks. As you may know, I’ve been moving into my house so I’ve been super busy getting everything organised and we’ve only just got the wifi working today – I did try to get this post up a few times over the past week using personal hotspot but with so many pictures, I needed a better connection. Anyway, more blog posts to come about the move, my home interior inso and a few homeware hauls in the next few weeks. I’ve had so many people tweeting me saying they’ve loved what they’ve seen so far on snapchat so I’m really excited to share more on here. Before we moved, we had a lovely relaxing week away in Pollenca, Mallorca which you may have seen me tweeting, instagramming and snapping about. I want to give you a little overview of the holiday and the villa we stayed at, as we were all so impressed and would definitely go back. 
The holiday was booked via travelopo.com who very kindly provided me with the villa to stay in for the week. I know, super generous and lovely! They’re an amazing website and some of the villas you can book via them are INSANE. I’ve already seen about 10 villas I want to stay at in various locations. Now Winter is well on its way, I know a lot of you (myself included) will be thinking about next years Summer getaways and you may want to consider Pollenca as your destination of choice.

Before our trip, the six of us (myself, boyfriend and four of our closest friends) had never actually heard of Pollenca but it’s a really amazing location as it’s so close to other holiday hotspots like Alcudia, Palma and even Magaluf for those of you who like to party. Plus, it’s only a two hour flight from the UK so if you’re a bit of a nervous flyer like me, you don’t have to worry about lots of flying time as the flight was super quick – just long enough to drink a couple of mini bottles of Prosseco, haha. Pollenca itself is a beautiful place – it’s so picturesque and there’s definitely enough to do there to fill a week with some many shops, bars and restaurants as well as a nice beach in the town centre. However, if you like to explore or visit other places when you’re abroad, it’s handy to have other well known locations nearby which are all easily accessible via taxi, bus or even boat.
When we arrived at Palma airport, we jumped in a taxi and after a 45 minute journey, we arrived in Pollenca’s town centre where there was plenty of bars and restaurants to keep us occupied while we waited for our villa to be ready. We got an early flight and our villa wasn’t ready until the afternoon but this wasn’t a problem as we had a lovely lunch and cocktails to keep us occupied for a few hours. After lunch, we did struggle to get taxi to the villa for an hour or so (we arrived on a Saturday and apparently this isn’t a good day to try and get a taxi as they’re all out doing trips to the airport – bare that in mind) but we finally made it and were so impressed by what we found. We’d only seen pictures o f the villa online and while they looked lovely, it was 10x better in reality. The villa was called ‘Ca Na Volantina‘ and was situated only ten minutes away from Pollenca town in a taxi, or a 40 minute walk (we did this a couple of times and it was fine but much easier to jump in a taxi), down a very private lane with only a few other villas nearby. As you can see from the images, the views were out of this world!
The inside of the villa was pretty amazing too as it had four double bedrooms all with en suite, a huge living room complete with plasma TV on the wall, a massive dining table and a lovely modern kitchen with all the utensils you could need. This was all topped off with an amazing outdoor dining area, BBQ facilities, table tennis table and a hot tub. I mean, we really couldn’t have asked for more. After settling in at the villa, packing away all the food and cracking open the alcohol we’d stocked up on in Pollenca town, it was time to chill and enjoy our new home for the week. We obviously headed straight for the pool which was amazing! As I said, the villa was really private so we could be as loud as we wanted and play music etc without disturbing anyone. We sipped on Prosecco and enjoyed the sun while chatting, laughing and chilling in our hot tub – it was perfect!
That evening we decided we’d go back to Pollenca town and find somewhere to eat. We were a bit apprehensive about getting a taxi after the trouble we’d had earlier in the day but luckily for us, we didn’t have any trouble with taxis for the rest of the week as the local taxi company knew exactly where the villa was and always turned up on time. We found a lovely restaurant in Pollenca and I had the most delicious prawn and lobster linguine -yum! We all decided that one of our favourite things to do on holiday is go out in the evenings and eat nice meals so this is what we did most nights apart from one night when we had a BBQ on the terrace at our villa which was also amazing! It’s safe to say we cooked way more food than we could eat that night.

We didn’t really have many bad meals when we were there except one night in Alcudia where we all had a bit of a dodgy paella but let’s face it, I’ve never been on a holiday where there isn’t that one token bad meal in the week. Haha! Our favourite place to eat was Pollenca old town as it was a super pretty place and all of the restaurants were on a square so you had so many to choose from. We ate there twice (although we wish we’d gone more now looking back) at Restaurant Il Giardino and Centric Restaurant, both of which had the tastiest food and drinks from the whole week.

My boyfriend had been recommended Il Giardino by a friend at work before we went and we also checked Trip Advisor and these two were number one and two on the top 10 best restaurants in the area. Sometimes it pays to do a bit of research when you’re away and read reviews before picking which restaurants to eat at. The night we had a bad meal, we didn’t look at reviews until afterwards and it’s safe to say that if we’d looked beforehand, we probably wouldn’t have chosen to eat there.

For most of the week we decided to chill at the villa as it seemed silly not to make the most of it. However, we did do a couple of day trips – one being a boat trip around Pollenca which was absolutely brilliant. We booked the half-day excursion on this website and it’s 100% the best boat trip I’ve ever been on. The boat itself only held 12 people and as there was six of us, we knew there wasn’t going to be many other people with us and it turned out there was only two others who had booked on so we essentially had the whole boat to ourself. The staff on the boat were super friendly locals who made us feel really welcome and we had a selection of beers, wine and soft drinks to enjoy throughout the day included in the price we paid. They also served us some Spanish nibbles for lunch (the best tomato bread ever) and let us have a swim in the sea and take part in activities such as paddle boarding and snorkelling. It was fabulous!!

Another day trip we did was to Puro Beach in Palma which is a stunning beach club situated right at the beach front with amazing 180º views of the sea. As soon as we arrived, I was blown away by how beautiful it was. If you follow me on snapchat (follow me @kayljcouture) you probably saw all my snaps showing you guys around the place as it was just unreal. The pool had a volcanic rock bottom so it looked black which just added to the whole cool vibe of the place. 

We were very kindly given some of their amazing ‘Balinese’ beds to chill on throughout the day whilst enjoying the sunshine, drinking delicious cocktails and listening to the great music being played. We also ate lunch in their restaurant and oh my goodness, it was SO good. I had the thai beef salad and it’s the best I’ve ever had – delicious!! Everyone else loved their meals too so it got a huge thumbs up for the food. We all really loved our day at Puro Beach and I’d recommend it to anyone. I’m hoping to go back at some point as I loved it so much. It was basically like spending a day in paradise.

Overall we had an amazing time in Pollenca and I’d definitely go back to the area and stay at Villa Ca Na Volantina as it was a great location and had everything you could ever need for a week away. I know some people prefer staying in hotels but I really like villas as something a bit different. They’re completely private, you can do what you want, when you want, eat and drink anything you fancy throughout the day and also have a great place to socialise when there’s a group of you.
Do you like the look of this villa? Would you or have you ever visited Pollenca?!


Right now, just about everyone at Glossier is out of office…and why not be, right? Americans apparently have a hard time taking time off (tales of your best “stealth vacation” are welcome below), so everyone’s trying their best not to be a statistic. But we’re here for you, so the reviews shall not abate! Below are a few we wrote just before sneaking out for the week. The internet never sleeps, but we believe in beauty rest, so this was the solution. Have a good holiday! We’ll be back on Monday.

Claire Knebl: “At press time, it’s the middle of the big holiday build-up, which consists mostly of office parties and friends’ office parties. I’m game—just not for stereotypical heavy, holiday makeup. Instead I’ve been navigating party season by focusing on my skin (for which the key product has been Kiehl’s Line-Reducing Concentrate with boatloads of Vitamin C to brighten my complexion). But, back to makeup: I’m usually not into sparkles, but it’s still 50º in New York, so being festive is an easier sell. My wrapping paper choices are going to be on point and I’m gonna wear sparkles, OK? On my lips, Armani’s Liquid Lip Maestro in 508, a shade that sits somewhere between peach and rust. It wears well for a surprisingly long time, but be sure to bring a balm with you because a few hours in, it does start to feel a bit dry. For eyes, I’ve been layering several warm eye shadows in buildable colors from Troy Surratt’s Artistique line—they’re sheer but with noticeable color payoff (and again I say sparkle). I smudge on Cuivre (bronze), Idéaliste (golden bronze), Poudre (peach), and Ingénue (pink) in no particular order. They could definitely be applied artfully, but I think I prefer it when there’s no real method to the madness.”

Brennan Kilbane: “I’m working remotely from the comfort of my parent’s house this week, where there are gratis snacks and an in-home washer/dryer. The skincare routine I abide by while here is similarly luxurious—and reminiscent of Jane Bishop’s constant moisturizing-while-working-from-home situation. Currently, constantly, without fail, I’m applying Grown Alchemist’s Hydra-Repair Day Cream—it’s heavy and balmy and makes me feel like maybe I’m fixing my city face that has apparently fallen victim free radicals (the only free things in New York City). It has rosehip oil in it, which is great for the redness I shall be concealing when I Skype Claire for our weekly touchbase. Then, it’s eye cream—Rodial Dragon’s Blood Eye Gel—so my under-eye region can be more like Khaleesi by the time break is over. And because hydrated fingers are productive fingers, I’ll use Davines Oi Hand Balm, which is very nice to look at. I might rub it on my feet, too, because I can do that here.”

Emily Ferber: “The key to stress-free holiday travel is not packing well or staying hydrated or remembering that love, actually, is all around. The key to stress-free holiday travel is booking your flight home for 6am on Christmas day for a cool $200 round trip. Conditions are perfect—airport’s deserted, Ubers to LaGuardia are cheap, and you’re home just in time for the day’s main event: arguing over which David O. Russell movie to see. So, no, I’m not actually out of office yet. But once I finally do manage to make it out of the city, I will be reliving the vestiges of my youth by surrounding myself with the products in my childhood bedroom that have somehow evaded the garbage. Most notably, I’m on the last dregs of a wonderful foot cream from Bliss that smells minty and herbal, like all good foot creams. It’s thick, and calls for a good pair of socks (Smartwool, from mom’s drawer). On alternate days, I’ll tend to my hair with Christophe Robin’s Regenerating Mask with Rare Prickly Pear Seed Oil that I actually sent home for my mom with the intention of using most of it myself. But if ‘masking with mom’ doesn’t imbue you with the holiday spirit, I don’t know what will.”

Photos via ITG.

Discover more product reviews from Team ITG this way

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The Look: Cate In MAC & Dior

Holiday makeup ads would have you think that you need to dash through the snow to find yourself a purple smoky eye palette and learn how to use it stat because Christmas dinner will simply not be the same without a completely transformative beauty look. But what if a smoky purple eye just isn’t…you? It’s great and all, but it’s not for everyone. And if you can’t even recognize yourself in your new and improved Christmas Eve makeup, how in the world is Santa going to recognize you? Ever think about that?

Instead, consider pulling out your greatest makeup hits for whatever remaining events the month has in store. Trying out new makeup can be tricky because, as they always say, Instagram is forever. Cate Underwood, the Ukranian model/photographer above, demonstrates just how impactful your standby cat eye and red lip can be—hers are done with MAC Ruby Woo and Diorshow Art Pen. Her thoughts:

Ruby Woo is a classic—super matte, very beautiful. And the Art Pen makes a great line. I don’t usually wear mascara, but this makes the perfect accent. Even a little line makes the face, I think. To be honest, I don’t play with makeup that much. All I do is stick to a very natural look and so for me it’s very clean, glowing skin, highlighter to show your bone structure, eyeliner to have an accent on your eyes, and lipstick to make your lips pop. It’s very simple and it always works.”

Great—just what you needed.

Cate Underwood photographed by Tom Newton.

Next up: the perfect festive red manicure. And click here for more of ITG’s take on the holiday season.

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I’m Force-Feeding My Friends Coffee Table Books For Christmas

I’ve lived in New York for almost seven years. In the first six, I never once managed to hang that art I’d been meaning to hang or curate that coffee table I’d been meaning to curate. My frames lived on the floor, leaning against a wall. And my coffee table books lived in unruly stacks, also against a wall. Recently, I got a new apartment, and with it came a newfound motivation to actually move in and invite people over. I became closely acquainted with Amazon Prime (and my storage space), and I think, maybe, I sort of became one of those people that seems like they have it all together—or at least together enough to have a well-rounded collection of large books. Unfortunately, I also became one of those people who buys their friends all the things I already have and like.

In other words, this year, whether they want ’em or not, my loved ones are getting the coffee table books I imagine belong in their homes. They really do make beautiful gifts, plus they ship in a flash in case you forgot until now that gifts are a thing. In any case, a brief guide:

For the makeup junkie: Face Paint: The Story of Makeup by Lisa Eldridge 
Growing up, I was obsessed with Kevin Aucoin’s Making FacesThe man could turn Gwyneth Paltrow into James Dean—that’s magic. Similarly magical is Lisa Eldridge‘s new book, Face Paint: The Story of Makeup. The woman’s done covers for Vanity Fair, W, Vogue, Interview—plus all those tutorials that are soothing enough to lull you to sleep. Face Paint is everything about makeup that you never thought to ask: how products initially developed and the stories behind some of the most iconic beauty editorials. Stories like this fun fact about Lisa Eldridge: She had her first big break when she was booked by ELLE Magazine to work with Cindy Crawford.

For the fashion historian: Becoming by Cindy Crawford
Speaking of Cindy Crawford…her new book, Becoming (you’ve seen the sweatshirts) catalogs 150 of Cindy’s most iconic images—photos by Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, Arthur Elgort, Patrick Demarchelier, and Herb Ritts—alongside stories about shooting for Playboy and MTV Style, having kids (ahem, Kaia Gerber)…more than just a memoir, it’s a darn good look back on the ’90s without getting lost in nostalgia.

For the freelancer with frequent flier miles: Hartwood by Eric Werner and Mya Henry
Young lovers quit their jobs in New York City and move to a tropical, one-road town in Tulum, Mexico. Sounds like a dream and also exactly what Eric Werner and Mya Henry did IRL—dropped their city lives and opened one of the most inspiring restaurants in the world. Mya runs the dining room, and Eric the kitchen. Recently, for all of our sakes, they published a book. Part cookbook, part travel porn, beware: When you read this book, you are likely to break your lease and impulse-buy a plane ticket.

For the stoner who cooks: HERB: Mastering the Art of Cooking Cannabis
OK bear with me—this book is a cultural landmark. It’s the first-ever cookbook that presents cannabis cooking as dignified, and acceptable. HERB is the baby of classically trained chefs Melissa Parks and Laurie Wolf, plus the team at The Stoner’s Cookbook. After experiencing cooking for a few friends with different forms of cancer, Parks—who studied at Le Cordon Bleu—decided it was time to offer up an education about cooking with hemp and cannabis in an elevated way. So even if edibles aren’t your thing…it’s still unquestionably great.

For the nostalgic socialite: Peter Schlesinger: A Photographic Memory 1968-1989
Between 1968-1989, Peter Schlesinger hung out with Paloma Picasso applying lipstick in Paris, Grace Coddington at a cafe, Andy Warhol cabbing around Monaco, and Fran Lebowitz at a book fair in New York City. He captures the young and beautiful and on-the-rise lying out on a deck in the South of France. This book is full of raw portraits—the kind you’d now see by 20-somethings on Tumblr, half-clothed or between sentences. But Schlesinger was one of the first to really do it. And on a lighter note: the book itself looks good anywhere.

For the Fornasetti girl: Piero Fornasetti: Practical Madness by Patrick Mauries and Bruno Roger
I’ve been a longtime cult follower of Piero Fornasetti—the Italian painter behind the namesake decor line. I am a bit obsessed with his muse. I have a shrine of candles, pillows and prints: a woman with a flower in her mouth, winking or looking up at the bee that might sting her. She always looks at me, glazed over in this modern Mona Lisa-esque way. Which is to say, she’s perfect. In line with his exhibition in Paris, Fornasetti published a book of his drawings, paintings and studio archive images with Rizzoli. I love it. I don’t know how you couldn’t. It’s sold at Barneys.

For the freckled: Freckles by Caduff, Reto & Jonathan Rees 
Funny that a slight gap in your front teeth, or curly hair, or a full face of freckles used to be considered “unconventional” beauty. Some of the most beautiful humans I can think of have all three of those things. And so do many of the girls in this book, all rightly given the moniker of “beautiful” with simple, insanely beautiful portraits.

—Alyssa Reeder

Photos via ITG. 

For all of your non-literary gifting needs, check out ITG’s Gift Guide.

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Holiday Party Look, Part III: Sarah Chavez, Editor

The entire month of December requires American Pharoah’s stamina, Mother Theresa’s patience, and Elizabeth Taylor’s penchant for glamour. Hey, it’s a marathon, not a sprint, right? So, if your calendar is full (or still filling up—have faith) rest assured that the inspiration-finding part of getting ready for any of the season’s festivities is taken care of. We asked three women to style themselves for their ideal holiday scenario and write out the details for the rest of us—a bit of outfit and makeup wealth-sharing, if you will. Wrapping up the festivities in our third and final look is Sarah Chavez, Managing Editor of 25, Anja Rubik’s art magazine that’s really more of a book released in very sexy volumes every year. After reading this one, look back at our previous looks to suit all of your office open bars, family obligations, and general merriment.

For me, the holidays are really about unwinding and spending time with my family. I come from a really big tight-knit family and we always have a fancy holiday party where everybody gets really dressed up. My mom is one of seven children—six girls, so it’s a big thing with 30 of us all in one place. Getting ready is always fun but now, I have a bunch of younger cousins and I have a little nephew now, so it’s important for me to be comfortable even though I’m dressed up. Which means…

Outfit. Elastic waistband pants! But chic. I collect vintage Japanese designer pieces and have this Comme des Garçons velvet pajama suit that’s really special. It’s chill, but still elegant. I’ll wear it with these silver (Prada) slingbacks. They’re fun and give the look something extra. People probably think about doing a party dress, but this is just so much more comfortable and different. The velvet is festive with its own kind of luxe sparkle.

Nails. I love a navy polish to make the look all monochrome. This one is OPI’s I Saw…U Saw…We Saw…Warsaw (haha). I get manicures every week, which the lady who does my nails thinks is too much. She says, “You can just do a polish change, Sarah, you don’t always have to do a manicure.” But it’s my weekly indulgence—and I love the massage part. I like to change it up because I can’t stand a nail that’s chipped or clashes with my lip color.

Skin. Since I don’t wear a ton of makeup, I’m all about how you apply your skincare. It’s something I learned from Isabelle Bellis, the best facialist—a good face massage to start is key. I like doing a serum first, and I’ve been using Joelle Ciocco Mediateur Oxygenation Serum Booster. In winter, La Roche-Posay’s Hydraphase Rehydrating Moisturizer works wonders. I like using Philosophy Fresh Cream Lip Scrub—it makes your lips so soft. Then I layer Glossier Balm Dotcom on top.

Face. For a party, I actually am experimenting with wearing the Balm on my lids too—an idea that came up when I wanted some sparkle near my eyes but didn’t have much in terms of eyeshadow. The effect is a bit like velvet is for my outfit…low-key shimmer. On my lips, I mix MAC Lady Danger and Nars Red Square Velvet Matte Lip Pencil. Nars first all over the lip, then the MAC. It’s the perfect red/orange balance. On my brows, I use Anastasia Brow Wiz in Medium Brown and then brush them up with Glossier Boy Brow in Brown. My favorite mascara for events is Lancôme Définicils Waterproof—just because my eyes always water, especially in the winter with the wind. I’ve been using the Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint in Medium and layer that with my Tarte Concealer that’s really amazing. I’ve never used concealer until this year. I went into Sephora and asked the sales associate, ‘How do I look a bit more awake?’ The Tarte was the first one she recommended and I said, ‘Cool. I’ll try it.’ And it works!

Hair. My hair is so long, I feel like I can wear it like a scarf, particularly in the cold. I put it in a braid this morning after my shower, air-dried it, then brushed it out, and it got a bit of a wave. I use Shu Uemura Essence Absolue Oil, it protects the hair really well. One thing I’m pretty religious about is trimming my hair every three months or so, because I think long hair needs to be healthy hair—otherwise it’s like you’re just holding on to length, you know? Beyond that, I don’t take any heat to it and that’s enough to keep it happy. Sometimes I keep the braid in—but only if I’ve slept on it. I never want my hair to look too precious.

—Sarah Chavez

Sarah Chavez photographed by Tom Newton at her home in New York on November 23, 2015.

Phoebe Collings-James references Diana Ross and Vanessa Traina makes a case for “emotional dressing” in their Holiday Party Looks.

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